Far-left Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) says Democrats “fought” very hard to allow “huge amounts” of illegal immigrants to attain federal relief stimulus checks.
Her comments came during a virtual town hall meeting with constituents on Tuesday.
AOC (D-NY) was asked by a voter if the inability of Congress to take action on immigration reform might affect her own reelection or the electoral prospects of the Democrat Party as a whole.
The congresswoman hedged a bit initially, noting that due to campaign laws she can’t speak directly about elections with the town hall being an event conducted in her official capacity.
But she did tout the Democrat Party’s efforts on aiding illegal immigrants as a whole.
“What I can say is that as an elected official, I’ve been one of the most vocal members of Congress on inclusion of a path to citizenship for the over, you know, 11 million … potentially upwards of 13 million immigrants, undocumented people in the United States,” she replied.
“We’ve thrown everything on the line, and not just in a path to citizenship but we’ve also fought for the inclusion – we fought tooth and nail for the inclusion of undocumented people in relief packages, stimulus checks, FEMA assistance.”
Watch, beginning around the 1:17:00 mark:
AOC proceeded to tout how they fought for “huge amounts” of illegal immigrants to gain access to federal relief.
“We’ve actually helped huge amounts of undocumented families in our district get federal relief that many others were trying to lock them out of,” added the congresswoman.
AOC complained in March of 2020 that cash payments in the first round of stimulus checks would not be made to immigrants with tax IDs, or ITINs, a number issued by the IRS to ensure that people – including unauthorized immigrants – pay taxes.
Her ire was raised to such a level that she threw a temper tantrum on the House floor debating the bill.
She later became the lone House Democrat to vote against a $484 billion aid package to help small businesses and hospitals that April.
Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) responded to AOC’s comments and said the process she speaks of was, in fact, legal.
“I see a lot of people saying this is illegal. If it were illegal, she wouldn’t be bragging about it,” tweeted Massie.
“This is what I opposed, when no other Republican representative would stand up in 2020,” he continued. “Then I tried to show that these checks were going to non-citizens and people doubted me.”
It’s unclear how much money is in question.
A USA Today fact-check in 2021 claims “COVID-19 relief package(s) exclude most immigrants who aren’t in the U.S. legally from receiving stimulus checks.”
However, they added, “some people who entered the U.S. on valid temporary working visas … may be eligible for the stimulus check, even if they overstayed their visas.”
Massie was one of only five Republicans who voted against a stimulus bill in April of 2020.
He had initially raised the ire of his colleagues and former President Donald Trump for forcing an in-person vote on the COVID relief package. They were concerned his tactics may have derailed the stimulus vote altogether.
Trump referred to him on Twitter as a “grandstander.”
“There could be one vote, one vote, one grandstander, you might have one grandstander, and for that we’ll have to come back and take a little more time,” he said.
Trump would later call Massie “a disaster for America, and for the Great State of Kentucky.”
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